Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Inactivity puts over 1.4 billion adults at physical, mental risk

Globally 27 per cent of people do not take enough exercise compared with 36 per cent in Britain Globally 27 per cent of people do not take enough exercise compared with 36 per cent in Britain Times
Johnnie Parks | 08 September, 2018, 13:15

In 2016, more than 25 percent of adults across the world did not exercise sufficiently, according to a study conducted by researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO), published today in The Lancet Global Health journal.

The new Global Action Plan on Physical Activity sets the target to reduce physical inactivity by 10 percent by 2025 and 15 percent by 2030.

The highest levels of physical inactivity was seen in women from Latin America and the Caribbean (43.7 percent) followed by those in south Asia (43 percent) and among high income Western countries (42.3 percent).

The highest rates of lack of exercise in 2016 were in adults in Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, where more than half of all adults were not active enough to protect their health. The study is based on self-reported activity levels, including activity at work and at home, for transport, and during leisure time, in adults aged 18 years and older from 358 population-based surveys across 168 countries, comprising 1.9 million participants.

Additionally, physical activity has positive effects on mental health, can delay the onset of dementia, and help people maintain a healthy weight, the WHO study revealed.

Experts said the transition in wealthier countries towards more sedentary jobs and hobbies, along with increased use of motor transport, might explain their higher levels of inactivity.

Overall, Australian women are less physically active than Australian men - which reflects worldwide trends.

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For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

Across regions, many individual countries recorded large differences in insufficient activity between women and men, such as 40 versus 16 per cent in Bangladesh, 31 versus 14 per cent in Eritrea, 44 versus 25 per cent in India, 48 versus 32 per cent in the USA, and 40 versus 32 per cent in the UK.

The difference in inactivity also was notable between the sexes - 23.4 percent among men vs. 31.7 percent among women.

Steven Ward, chief executive of the charity UK Active, said: "Inactivity is the cause of 20,000 premature deaths in the UK each..."

The authors of the study note that these inequalities have to be addressed globally, for example by giving women improved access to exercise that is affordable, safe and accepted in their culture. Publication of levels of participation in children and young people are forthcoming.

"We need action to reverse decades of decline in the nations level of physical activity".

"It is vitally important that we take notice of this research, because physical inactivity is a risk factor for heart disease, which continues to be the leading killer of Australians".

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